by Mikel Rouse
foreword by Kyle Gann
University of Illinois Press, 2024
Paper: 978-0-252-08791-2 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04581-3 | eISBN: 978-0-252-05669-7
Library of Congress Classification ML410.R854A3 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 780.92


One of the most innovative composers of his generation, Mikel Rouse is known for a trilogy of operas that includes Dennis Cleveland and a gift for superimposing pop vernaculars onto avant-garde music. This memoir channels Rouse’s high energy personality into an exuberant account of the precarity and pleasures of artistic creation. Raconteur and starving artist, witty observer and acclaimed musician, Rouse emerged from the legendary art world of 1980s New York to build a forty-year career defined by stage and musical successes, inexhaustible creativity, and a support network of famous faces, loyal allies, and high art hustlers. Rouse guides readers through a working artists’ hardscrabble life while illuminating the unromantic truth that a project’s reception may depend on a talented cast and crew but can depend on reliable air conditioning.

Candid and hilarious, The World Got Away is a one-of-a-kind account of a creative life fueled by talent, work, and luck.

See other books on: Composers | Gann, Kyle | Individual Composer & Musician | Memoir | Opera
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